Posted on September 01, 2018

Texas A&M University at Qatar welcomed its incoming freshmen students at orientation during the three-day Aggie Life 101, a series of seminars, workshops and activities so students can learn about Texas A&M and its unique traditions, as well as what it takes to succeed at a world-renowned engineering institution.

About 150 new students attended orientation and are expected to report for classes Sunday when the fall semester starts.

Students and graduates of Texas A&M University are called “Aggies” and that tradition continues at Texas A&M’s branch campus in Doha. Aggie Life 101 showcased the opportunities Texas A&M at Qatar offers to students to help them become engineering leaders — from social clubs and activities to transformative educational experiences like international service-learning trips and relevant research. Students also registered for classes, attended academic advising sessions, toured the Texas A&M Engineering Building, met with faculty and engaged with student leaders.

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Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, welcomed the freshmen of the Class of 2022. “Texas A&M at Qatar is educating the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar,” Malavé said. “I congratulate each and every one of you on not only getting into this prestigious university, but also for having the wisdom and courage to take on this challenge of a world-class engineering education. Welcome to Texas A&M and to the Aggie family.” During the week, students were split into groups led by current students who served as ambassadors of Texas A&M at Qatar and to answer any questions the new students might have about college life. The groups also allowed new students the opportunity to get to know one another as they begin this new experience together.

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The orientation leaders introduced the Aggie Core Values and the Aggie Code of Honor, two driving principles that set apart an Aggie education. At the end of these sessions, orientation leaders quizzed the new students on their knowledge of Texas A&M’s traditions, including the school mascot (a collie named Reveille) or the school colors (maroon and white). New student Abdullah Azaza said his most memorable experience so far is learning how Aggies say hello. “We say ‘howdy,’ which is how everyone at Texas A&M greets each other,” Azaza said. “We learned that it’s a casual form of the phrase, ‘How are you doing?’ When we greet our professors in the classroom or our classmates in the hallways, we say howdy!”

Student Government Association vice president Mowad Alaradi spoke to the new students and stressed the importance of getting involved. “You have every opportunity in front of you,” Alaradi said. “Are you going to be just an engineer or do you want to be an engineering leader? Texas A&M at Qatar gives us these opportunities to get involved in order for us to become leaders. I encourage you to take advantage of these. Your college experience will be so much more valuable and rewarding.”